Downloads and Media
Ocracoke Terminal Thumbnail
Project Fast Facts
  • Status: Long-Range Studies
  • County: Dare, Hyde
  • Type of Project: Feasibility Study
  • Completion Date: December 2015
Hatteras-Ocracoke Passenger Ferry Feasibility Study Logo


The North Carolina Department of Transportation is conducting a Passenger Ferry Feasibility Study to determine whether passenger-only ferry service would ease congestion on the North Carolina Ferry System’s popular Hatteras-Ocracoke route. The study, conducted by transportation engineering company Volkert, began in April of 2015. Completion of the study is expected in December.

The Passenger Ferry Feasibility Study is composed of meetings with local, state and federal stakeholders, surveys and public meetings. The study also included test runs of the proposed Hatteras-Silver Lake route by a ferry similar in size to one the Feasibility Study is considering. The study examines the potential acceptance of passenger-only ferry service, as well as costs, infrastructure improvements (passenger docks, parking, etc.), availability of transit options on Ocracoke, and other considerations.

If passenger ferry service is established between Hatteras and Ocracoke-Silver Lake, it would supplement the existing car ferry service between Hatteras and Ocracoke-South Dock.

Overview and Purpose

Ongoing shoaling in Hatteras Inlet is forcing the popular Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry to take a longer route on its runs between islands, resulting in fewer trips per day. This results in heavy congestion in the busy summer months, which means the Ferry Division has to pay more in fuel and labor costs. Ferry ridership has declined as a result, and visitor spending on Ocracoke Island, a vital part of its economy, has also decreased sharply.

The purpose of the Passenger Ferry Feasibility Study is to find a solution to the congestion problem, whether by establishing passenger ferry service directly between Hatteras and Ocracoke Villages, year-round dredging in Hatteras Inlet, or increasing car ferry service between Hatteras and Ocracoke-South Dock. The study will look at all aspects of the issue, including passenger interest, stakeholder concerns, infrastructure improvements and transit needs.

Contact Information

Timothy D. Hass
Communications Officer - Ferry

  • Email: Contact Us
  • Mail: 8550 Shipyard Road
    Manns Harbor, NC 27953
  • Phone: (252) 473-3461

Resources for Local Property Owners

In many cases, it is inevitable that a certain amount of private property must be acquired. The displacement of homes and businesses is minimized to the extent practicable. The following brochures will answer questions about this process.